Ford Axing all cars except Mustang and Focus Active Crossover in North America

PortalMaker

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Guess Ill get a Lexus when my fusion lease is up. That was easy...No interest in a crossover or suv.
I'm on my 2nd Fusion lease now. First was a '14 Energi model. Not sure what I might lease next... if anything. After being a bit spoiled with Sync 3 and Android Auto, I don't think Lexus' prehistoric Enform system is going to cut it for me.


...Honestly, the thing I'm most shocked about is them axing the Fusion. Every perception I have of that vehicle is that is a solid vehicle that dealers couldn't replace fast enough with how quick they were selling. The buzz and market reception on that car when the redesign came out is clearly quantified by the number of those cars I see on the road even just driving two miles to the grocery store...
There was a boom for a while with the 2013 redesign but... honestly, Fusion sales have slowed a bit. The 2017 got a subtle face lift with the headlights, dial-shifter, etc. But not much else has changed on the vehicle. And I guess US Ford designers are being forced to focus their attention on the truck, SUV, and crossover line-ups.

I started to suspect something was up when the Fiesta got a redesign for the European market and the US got the same tired Fiesta it's always had.
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Because right now it's not cost effective due to the low volume they are selling. I was reading that on average, those cars they are cutting sit on dealer lots an average of 85 days or something like that before they sell. If gas shoots up and demand rises, it can be profitable to sell them again.
Especially the nicer and/or more loaded models end up sitting the longest these days. Base or just above base models tend to move the quickest. Most people just want a car with a touchscreen and/or a moonroof. While they'd like all the other safety and driver assist related extras, they usually don't want to pay for the higher trim levels and/or packages required to get them.


Ford just unveiled the new Focus hatchbacks like 2 weeks ago, with the Focus ST and RS rumored to be coming soon. So I'm guessing this next Focus gen will be the last? (not counting the Focus Active crossver)
The new Focus was announced as a 2019 model for overseas markets. The Focus will be killed in the US for roughly a year in the hopes that the EcoSport might be able to thrive. Then they might bring the new Focus back as a 2020 model to the US... just in time to introduce the Focus Active and then kill all their sedans shortly afterwards.


What the hell happened to "Ford Performance?"
Didn't you notice the expanding "ST" line-up hitting the SUVs? The Edge ST, Explorer ST, etc.


Ballpark amount I could dig up from online sources:
2017 Fiesta US sales: 45,000 units
2017 Focus US sales: 175,000 units
2017 Taurus US sales: 45,000 units
2017 Fusion US sales: 200,000 units

So does ford think the customers are going to just start buying SUV/crossovers/trucks instead of these? sounds like they are just going to loose a bunch of sales/profit by nixing these models.
They'll lose some, for sure. But you'd be surprised how many times I've seen people walk into the showroom set on getting a Focus. Then an hour or 2 later, I see them pulling off the lot in their brand new Escape.
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Topnotch

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Focus ST and RS will come after 2020
 

Zelek

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Small piece of the big picture. Trucks and SUV's are higher profit, and they have to fund the low profit items(soon to be dropped). Without those money sucking lines the future profit can be used to fund better vehicles that they DO still sell. Maybe a Mustang someday might have cooled seats that actually work!!!
Correct term would have been "ventilated" seats rather than cooling.
 

S922

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I definitely understand dumping the Taurus and Fiesta, but the Focus and Fusion doesn't make sense to me at all. Not everyone wants a truck or an SUV. I was reading consumer vehicle sales in the USA will be over 70% SUV's and trucks by 2024. Even if that's the case, there still is a good market for cars.
It makes sense if you look at the negative profit margins on those vehicles.
 

nrc

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Focus ST and RS will come after 2020
Based on what? I've seen no indication that Ford intends to bring any Focus model to the US except for the Focus Active.

The Camry, Civic, and Corrola all outsell Ford's top selling CUV. So the problem isn't volume, it's that Ford isn't competitive in those segments. You can't keep running from segments because they're "not profitable". Sooner or later the competitors who are running you out of those segments will paint you into a corner and then you're done.

Ford is essentially saying that they're moving into CUVs because they're higher margin. But how long until Honda and Toyota are selling twice as many of those as well? Then you're slashing prices to remain competitive in that segment.
 

xDUMPWEEDx

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Here is the future of vehicles in America, which is apparently what the mainstream consumer wants.

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Don't worry about the MPG though, bro! It's a hybrid!

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Just think how easy it will be to find a parking space in the Costco parking lot in one of these! You can scan the entire parking lot from the Eagle's nest! We love our lift!
 

mustangfanatic

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One of the companies I worked at did the same thing with respect to selling off the office buildings that they owned. It wasn't too many years before the company filed for bankruptcy, was sold off, then splintered and the pieces sold off at least once more. The office I'd worked at was completely shuttered.

Thoughtful pruning, sure. But right now it feels like Ford's got a guy trying to do bonsai with a broadsword.
Agree, this is an attempt to bolster short term profits through cost cutting which never works. You cannot artificially create "profit" by cutting cost. In addition, the cost cutting never saves as much as touted and the reputational harm done to the brand by engaging in such practices takes decades to repair (if ever).

Does anyone remember when Jacques Nasser was CEO of Ford? Nasser nearly ruined the company and Hackett is going to do the same thing. Seems like the Ford board of directors cannot seem to learn from their mistakes and are doomed to repeat the past.
 

rick81721

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Agree, this is an attempt to bolster short term profits through cost cutting which never works. You cannot artificially create "profit" by cutting cost. In addition, the cost cutting never saves as much as touted and the reputational harm done to the brand by engaging in such practices takes decades to repair (if ever).
Wow. In simplified terms, profit = revenue - (cost of goods + operating expense). There's nothing "artificial" about it.
 

nrc

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Wow. In simplified terms, profit = revenue - (cost of goods + operating expense). There's nothing "artificial" about it.
I suspect by "artificial" he means in a way that is not sustainable in the long term. Ford is cutting costs by throwing away an entire segment of the NA market. They immediately recognize lower costs by not having to refresh models in that segment, but that ultimately only pays off if they can replace that revenue with with increased sales in the segments they're sticking with.

If not, they end up having to dig themselves out of a hole by reinvesting in the neglected segments again. This is the boom/bust cycle that Ford has found themselves in every time they put a bean counter in charge.
 

aspensilver

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Agree, this is an attempt to bolster short term profits through cost cutting which never works. You cannot artificially create "profit" by cutting cost. In addition, the cost cutting never saves as much as touted and the reputational harm done to the brand by engaging in such practices takes decades to repair (if ever).

Does anyone remember when Jacques Nasser was CEO of Ford? Nasser nearly ruined the company and Hackett is going to do the same thing. Seems like the Ford board of directors cannot seem to learn from their mistakes and are doomed to repeat the past.


I don't like the move (shoulda kept the fusion) but keep in mind they're not axing sedans at Lincoln. With the MKZ in 2013 when I got my Fusion I thought it looked better than the Lincoln counterpart, and for a lot less.

Maybe Lincoln will get some love finally? I guess sedans are going upmarket in general.
 

Billy1

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This stupid and short-sighted. If the market turns from SUV's, Ford will have nothing to fall back on.

Who is this CEO anyway? :another non-car guy that already has his golden parachute in place-just in case this radical concept bites him in the rear!
 

ODucksFan

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I'm hoping that this is just a short 2nd coming of the SUV fad that we had from about 1997 until the recession. Remember when SUVs kept getting bigger and bigger and selling stupidly well, when Ford finally capped off the stupidity of the situation with the Excursion?

But I'm less hopeful in the fact that the recession killed the SUV because manufacturers didn't have hybrid engines in place along with generally improved MPG like they have now, which means that when gas prices do spike again the SUV might not go away.
I definitely remember that when huge gas guzzlers like the Excursion and Suburban were selling like hot cakes. That's a good point. I believe that's why there has been a huge resurgence in the popularity of SUV's and trucks. Both continue to improve on MPG's and there are now a lot of affordable crossovers. I doubt the popularity of the SUV goes away, especially with the hybrids and MPG improvements.
 

w3rkn

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Based on what? I've seen no indication that Ford intends to bring any Focus model to the US except for the Focus Active.

The Camry, Civic, and Corrola all outsell Ford's top selling CUV. So the problem isn't volume, it's that Ford isn't competitive in those segments. You can't keep running from segments because they're "not profitable". Sooner or later the competitors who are running you out of those segments will paint you into a corner and then you're done.

Ford is essentially saying that they're moving into CUVs because they're higher margin. But how long until Honda and Toyota are selling twice as many of those as well? Then you're slashing prices to remain competitive in that segment.

Focus sedans..... are going away, not the hatchbacks.
 
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